Chile, Argentina & Uruguay: Day 9

February 9, 2011

I should have known better, but I stayed out late the night before my engagement party.  And when I say late, I mean Argentine late.  My fiance, Lucas, kept telling me that if he could do it and still wake up for his soccer match in the morning, than I could do it too.  Alas, I am not a Porteña, and well, I should have known better.

I could barely cheer for him while he played soccer and while most women are delighted to be the center of attention at their engagement party, I wanted to hide.  Especially when I was greeted by about sixty people whom I had never met before and whom did not speak one word of English.  We must have had a lost in communication moment as to what kind of engagement party we were having, as I was under the impression there was going to be about 1/4 the amount of people.  All I could think about the entire time was, “Wow, this would certainly make for a hilarious movie scene.

Nonetheless, I survived and I adored every single one of his friends and family members.  Towards the end of the party, Lucas’ younger brother, Matias, asked me if I wanted to come to his piano concert.  He said it so casually that I almost said no, since I was counting the seconds until I could crawl into bed.  However, I am quite obsessed with Matias’ piano playing and knew I would regret it if I did not go.  It was only on the way to the performance that I was told where the performance was going to be.  He would be playing inside of a palace, a palace I almost got married in!

I know I previously said that I would not mention any of the places that purposely tried to take advantage of me because I am a gringa, but in order to understand how shocked I was on the way to Palacio San Souci, I must share the gossip.  We were literally signing the contract when they decided to almost triple the costs for no reason.  I had been envisioning myself getting married there for months, so to say my heart was broken was an understatement.  This was an incredible honor for Matias, thus despite my bitter resentment towards the place, I was going to support my future brother-in-law.  Of course, I was not prepared with my attire at all.  Who wears Uggs in a palace modeled after the one in Versailles?

The exterior was exquisite, although in my opinion it did not compare to the interior.  As we walked inside, there was a five piece orchestra playing, and it was definitely an emotional moment for me.  It was impossible for me to not think about if my wedding had taken place there.

Then there was an opera sung in German.

During a brief intermission I was able to explore the palace and people watch (this was the “high society” of Buenos Aires after all).

And then it was time for the finale, Matias.  If there was ever a free spirit, it is he.  He started playing the piano only three years ago at the age of sixteen and could easily be called a prodigy.  He never uses sheet music and can play whatever you ask of him.  He has dreads, can quote any philosopher in their original language, and does not own a single collared shirt (that is Lucas’ he is wearing).

In case you are wondering, when he was finished playing, I absolutely had enough energy to give him a standing ovation.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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39 thoughts on “Chile, Argentina & Uruguay: Day 9

  1. Patricia GW

    So impressive; Matias is exceptional at the piano!
    I can’t believe they tripled the cost on you for no reason! That’s so cheap and they shot themselves in the foot for it. The venue for your wedding looked gorgeous in your other post, it must be where you were meant to be ♥

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  3. Odysseus

    Aww, that’s so sad you can’t have your wedding there. It would be like a fairytale to be married in a palace. I hate double standards! (I’ve experienced them, too — just never on such a grand scale.)

  4. Annie

    Leave it to someone as fabulous as you to enjoy every minute that you wanted to crawl into bed and sleep! I would have died but it looks like you shined bright as always!

  5. Ceri

    Woah. That was an incredible performance by Matias – I wanted to hear more! You seem to know all the hunky Argentinian men, Andi. You know I’m going to have to chase you up when I get to Buenos Aires now, right? 😉

    I’m so sorry so many places tried to take advantage of you with your price. Sadly it’s not the first time I’ve read that businesses offer one price but as soon as they see the gringa/o partners turn up, the prices shoot through the sky.

  6. Sheryll

    Matias is incredibly talented! And did I ever mention I loooooove men with dreads? *swooon* I think you need to rename this blog “My beautiful adventures… and lots of hot men” LOL

  7. Spencer

    Sounds like you are having a great time. I have always wanted to go to South America so am very jealous of you right now! Lol!

  8. Andrea

    Haha, Portena was one of the first words I learned in my little iPad Spanish course as it is meant to teach you Argentinian Spanish. I was just thinking about that word earlier…funny. Matias sounds so talented! By the way, John and I partied the night before out actual wedding and got hardly any sleep. What can you do when all your friends have travelled all the way to the Whitsundays to be with you for your wedding. Don’t be surprised if you don’t get as much beauty sleep as you think the night before your wedding. I thanked my make-up artist a million times over! 😉

  9. Connie

    Wow, what a story! I once watched a live orchestra in Saint Chappelle in Paris and the acoustics in there just made everything sound so much more beautiful that I was moved to tears! Watching Matais reminded me of that touching moment in Paris. He plays piano so wonderfully!

  10. Anthony

    Matias is an incredible pianist! It was great to see a man with thick dreadlocks playing in a palace which is so proper. I like looking at the contrast of these two. Hope the wedding plans, well, are going as planned.

  11. Katherina

    Girl… that concert is stunning. I envy people who have that talent for music… an old friend of mine is one of those – one day after a concert he went to the trumpet player and asked him a few questions on how to play, got the trumpet and actually played an (easy) song! There are people who take weeks to get a single sound out of it!

  12. Dr. Gayle Scroggs

    Dear Andi,

    May you and Lucas be happy forever…you radiate joy all over your blog, and I am sure he knows he is one lucky fellow.

    I look forward to more of your travels!



  13. Laura

    I can’t believe he only started playing 3 years ago!! As sad as it is that you’re not getting married there, I”m sure you’ll have a fabulous wedding!!

  14. Kyle

    It is beautiful, but I have to say, I like Faena better. Everything happens for a reason and if you wouldn’t have had problems with this place, you never would have found such a perfect spot for your wedding!

    PS. Your brother in law is so talented!

  15. Laura

    My goodness, Matias’ playing brought tears to my eyes! So much passion!! Eh, who needs a stupid palace anyway? They’ll be sorry they don’t have the privilege of hosting your wedding!

  16. Claudia

    I had never been inside..I’m always amazed at the beauty of the architecture there…and WOW, the piano playing!! He’s awesome!

  17. Barbara J Freeman

    Doble WOW Andi! And that little detail about being taken advantage of just because you happen to be a gringa, well, I share your pain in paradise.


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